First, I have to ask… When it comes to restful sleep, are you still sleeping on one of these?
I tried it a few times and it was pretty wild. I’d love to know if anyone out there still has one.
Enjoying restful sleep is an important factor when it comes to extending longevity. Insomnia has been shown to negatively impact our health. It affects how we eat, brain function, mood, weight, how we fight illness, creativity and how we deal with stress Each of us has our own circadian rhythm. (Natural sleep cycle) Some of us are morning larks and others are night owls.
I was never a good napper.
My mother told me about a cross-country road trip our family took when I was 10 months old. We drove from Denver to New York and I stayed awake practically the entire time we were driving. I’d sit up in my car seat with my eyes wide open. She said I was afraid I’d miss something.
That was when car seats were simply holding areas for babies to keep them from driving the car. They weren’t safe at all. It’s a wonder we survived childhood.
I’m still like that in many ways. I get up with the sun and am brain dead by six pm because I never take naps. I do my best work in the morning. Others stay up til dawn blasting off emails and working. Even though our body clocks are different we still need our Z’s.
You can survive longer without food than without sleep
It’s that important!
It isn’t always easy to snooze 8 hours every night. We’re bombarded with stimulus and other disturbances that make sleep challenging. Certain foods, electronic devices, stress, an uncomfortable bed or a snoring partner all make it difficult. Many of us become dependent on prescription or over the counter sleeping pills, alcohol or other drugs to help us relax.
Here are some tips to get restful sleep
- Sleep in your own room if your partner snores or disturbs your sleep.
- 2 hours before bedtime, stop working on your computer and turn off the TV.
- Don’t drink caffeine after 2 PM. Sources of caffeine, besides coffee and tea, include sodas, chocolate, ice cream, weight loss pills, pain relievers, energy water, some alcoholic drinks, breath fresheners, decaf coffee, energized sunflower seeds, (seriously?) and anything that claims to make you feel perky.
- Don’t eat a large meal late at night
- Take a warm soothing bath before going to bed.
- Sleep naked – Pajamas that pull and twist during the night can keep you awake.
- Use blackout blinds and earplugs if necessary.
- Sleep in a room that’s cool rather than warm.
- Drink a warm cup of chamomile tea before bed.
- Go to bed around the same time each night. Having a nightly sleep ritual trains your body to sleep.
- Don’t allow TV’s, computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices in your bedroom. It’s bad Fung Shui.
- Don’t sleep with your pets – OK, I have trouble with that. My little doggies are very cuddly.
- Avoid sleep medications and alcohol. Alcohol makes you feel sleepy but often disrupts your sleep during the night.
- Don’t work up until you go to bed. Take time for relaxation. Set boundaries for work and rest time.
- Don’t freak out if you can’t get to sleep right away. If you try too hard to sleep it won’t happen.
- Find a safe and relaxing place to go if you can’t sleep. Sit, relax or meditate in dim light. Don’t be tempted to get any work done. This is a conditioning technique.
- Exercise regularly and stretch during the day or early evening. It helps you sleep better.
- Always sleep on a comfortable mattress.
- If you’re in a state of overwhelm, organize your life and delegate tasks to others.
- Never go to sleep angry with your partner or spouse. Work out your differences before you go to sleep rather than wait until the next day.
Enjoy long and restful sleep. You’ll live longer.
Do you have tips to sleep better? Please leave a comment below.